Good morning my fellow sports fans, it’s Chris Bengel back again to bring you all the news that you crave.
As I mentioned on Monday, the football season returning is spectacular. That also means it’s time for fantasy football, and preparing for upcoming drafts. I’m one of these people that always finds myself agonizing over what decisions I’m going to make on draft day.
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Depending on what spot I’m drafting from, do I go running back-running back to start it off or do I take a running back-wide receiver in the first two rounds? You can also really go off the rails and take a tight end with your second pick. Lots of decisions… and I always seem to make the wrong ones.
Anyway, enough about my fantasy football soul searching. We have an expert for those matters, who will help you get prepared for your draft in a minute. Let’s get to the news!
📰 What you need to know
1. NBA reveals marquee matchups for 2021-22 season 🏀
The 2021-22 NBA season is just about two months away, and we’re starting to learn more and more about what the schedule will look like for some of the league’s bigger dates. The campaign will get underway with the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks hosting the Brooklyn Nets on Oct. 19. In addition, the Golden State Warriors will take on the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center.
According to reports, the full regular season schedule will be released within the next week. But on Tuesday, we got some big news, as the league announced the schedule for one of the biggest days on the NBA calendar: Christmas Day.
Christmas Day is usually one of the most exciting days for NBA fans as some of the top title contenders are in action. Here’s what this year’s Christmas Day NBA schedule looks like:
- New York Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks, 12 p.m. ET
- Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics, 2:30 p.m. ET
- Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors, 5 p.m. ET
- Los Angeles Lakers vs. Brooklyn Nets, 8 p.m. ET
- Utah Jazz vs. Dallas Mavericks, 10:30 p.m. ET
The day starts off with the New York Knicks taking on the Atlanta Hawks. Merry Christmas Knicks fans, give a warm welcome to your favorite visiting player, Trae Young. We’ll also have the defending champions in action.
Perhaps the most intriguing game on the slate, though, is the nightcap in which the Nets will host the Lakers. Both teams were two of the top NBA title contenders last season, but each squad fell short of the conference finals.
2. Everything to know about the QB position heading into your fantasy football draft 🏈
August always means that football is returning and for many, it’s time to do some fantasy football research. I’ve played fantasy football most of my life. I played in my first league when I was around 12, with some of my dad’s co-workers, and actually won the damn thing.
These days I rarely remember my rosters from year-to-year, but that year’s team consisted of Tom Brady, Priest Holmes, Jamal Lewis, Hines Ward, and Tony Gonzalez just to name a few.
Let’s just say that I do a little bit more research these days. I’ve recently begun doing that by looking at rankings and more from our fabulous fantasy sports department here at CBS Sports. I’m biased, but I recommend signing up for our Fantasy Football Today newsletter ahead of the season. You are going to see lots of fantasy football items in this newsletter leading up to the season as well. I’ll start today by directing you to some QB help.
Despite being the most important position in football, selecting a quarterback in fantasy football brings quite a few strategies into play. Our fantasy guru Chris Towers (who writes the aforementioned Fantasy Football Today newsletter) took a deep dive into how to attack the quarterback position in your upcoming drafts and answered some intriguing questions.
- Look for rushing quarterbacks: “If you’re not going to invest in one of the high-end quarterbacks, you’d better make sure you’re looking for rushing quarterbacks. There are more than ever — there might be a dozen Week 1 starters who could conceivably rush for 400 yards without even including Trey Lance or Justin Fields.”
- Which quarterback’s ADP makes the least sense?: “Justin Herbert as QB4… Herbert scored the second-most Fantasy points of any rookie QB ever in 2020, behind only Cam Newton‘s 2011 season that saw him drop 404.6 points in CBS Fantasy standard scoring, finishing as QB5… We already saw some regression for Herbert, who had multiple passing touchdowns in eight of his first nine starts, but only three of his final six. Herbert should still be a starting Fantasy quarterback, but I can’t justify taking him over any of Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson, or Dak Prescott, at least.”
- Which quarterback you have drafted the most so far?: “If I’m taking a QB early, it’s probably going to be Kyler Murray. If I’m waiting, I’ve been doubling up on Cam Newton and Justin Fields, with the hope that if and when Newton loses the job, Fields will have the Bears job locked up. It’s possible neither is starting by Week 1, but I’m confident enough in my ability to stream to chase the upside of two rushing QB.”
3. Can Mike Trout still be an all-time great? ⚾
For the past several seasons, Mike Trout has showcased himself as one of the top players in baseball — and it hasn’t even been close. This is a guy that was a relative unknown when he was drafted late in the first round out of high school. As a South Jersey guy, it’s been an absolute pleasure for me to watch Trout’s ascent into superstardom.
Trout has been looked at as one of the greats already and he is only 30. The Angels outfielder has won three MVPs, been to nine All-Star Games, and won eight Silver Slugger awards. However, Trout has been affected by the injury bug in recent seasons. Couple that with the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, and you’ll realize we have not seen Trout for a full season in a while.
How serious is having trouble staying on the field affecting Trout’s legacy?
CBS Sports MLB scribe Matt Snyder wrote about how Trout’s recent injury history could cost him a shot at being considered one of the all-time greats. First of all, relax. Snyder isn’t saying that Trout has no chance of being one of the greatest players that the sport has ever seen. He’s just noting that Trout has only played in 89 games since the end of the 2019 regular season and that is cause for concern.
If Trout does want to have a chance of being named in the same breath as the likes of Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron, he’s going to have to stay healthy and continue to dominate like he had been prior to 2020. Here’s some snippets from Snyder’s piece:
- Where Trout could land amongst outfielders all-time: “Now, to be clear before people misinterpret things and start kicking and screaming, I still firmly believe Trout is an easy Hall of Famer and probably goes down as one of the best players of all-time. We might actually end up talking about him being more Willie Mays than Mickey Mantle, or somewhere in between. There is a difference, too. Mays has roughly 46 more WAR, 400 more RBI, 124 more homers and 185 more steals.”
- On if Trout didn’t get hurt this season: “Let’s say we could wave a magic wand and make 2020 a normal season — please, can we? Pretty please? — and then Trout doesn’t hurt his calf this season. It’s reasonable to believe at ages 28 and 29 he could have at least maintained his established paces, for the most part. Sure, adjustments would need to be made because his stolen bases were already trending down, but also home runs were trending up (he hit a career-high 45 in just 134 games in 2019).”
Tim Tebow’s tenure with the Jacksonville Jaguars was certainly short. Back in May, the Jaguars signed Tebow to a one-year deal to compete for a roster spot at tight end. However, Tebow lasted just one preseason game and failed to record a catch in that contest. This comes after Tebow was away from the sport for six years as he pursued a professional baseball career.
Now, you’re not going to find a bigger Tebow cynic than me. But I guess you have to applaud Tebow for attempting to tackle a new position in order to keep his football dream alive. Tebow’s failed blocking attempts and lack of receptions weren’t ideal, but you still have to give him some credit for trying to make the 53-man roster as a tight end.
CBS Sports NFL scribe Tyler Sullivan put a bow on Tebow’s Jacksonville tenure and summarized it all. Here are a few notes from the article:
- On how Tebow joined the team: “On May 20, the Jaguars officially signed Tebow to a one-year contract worth $920,000 (none of which was guaranteed). This not only ended a six-year absence from the NFL for Tebow, but the former first-round quarterback was also set to embark on a full-scale position change as he would try out for the team as a tight end.”
- On Tebow having the top-selling jersey: “‘Tebow-mania’ came back with a vengeance. After the Jaguars officially brought Tebow aboard and debuted that he’d be sporting No. 85 with the team, it became an instant hit. Roughly 24 hours after pen was put to paper on his contract with the team, the top five selling items on NFLShop.com belonged to Tebow, including Jacksonville’s black alternative game jersey.”
- His clear preseason struggles: “It wasn’t exactly a blockbuster debut for Tebow during Jacksonville’s preseason opener against the Browns. He played just 16 snaps and there wasn’t much positive to write home about. He was targeted by Gardner Minshew in the second quarter, but receiver Tavon Austin jumped in front of the ball to snatch the would-be receiving attempt.”
📝 Odds & Ends
📺 What to watch tonight
⚾ Red Sox vs. Yankees, 7:05 p.m. | NYY -111 | TV: ESPN
⚾ Brewers vs. Cardinals, 7:45 p.m. | STL +105 | TV: MLB.TV
⚾ Athletics vs. White Sox, 8:10 p.m. | CWS -190 | TV: MLB.TV
Best thing I saw on the internet 🏅
Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce is arguably the most dynamic playmaker at the tight end position (now that Tebow isn’t a tight end anymore 😁). However, one of Kelce’s off-the-field decisions was the topic of conversation on social media on Tuesday. The Chiefs tight end recently decided to shave off his beard, which has been his trademark look during his NFL career. Fans were devastated to see that Kelce axed off his beard, so he tried to alleviate their pain. On his Twitter account, Kelce posted a new profile picture with his beard drawn on. Kelce showed that he can clearly take a joke and had a little bit of fun with the fans.